Parks & Trails Master Plan: Implementation

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See how the Parks & Trails Master Plan is taking shape as the plan is put into action and enhancement to our parks and trails take shape.

Described as “where the rainforest meets the sea”, Sooke’s natural surroundings define its character. The Sooke Basin, Sooke Harbour and Sooke River are the defining geographic features, as are the Sooke Hills and surrounding mountainous areas, which provide recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. Sooke residents are passionate about the nature around them and their unique abilities to experience rainforest and ocean settings.

The purpose of the Parks and Trails Master Plan (PTMP) is to guide the planning, land acquisition, capital development and operations of parks and trails in Sooke. It provides a vision for parks and trails, goals for achieving the vision, and a series of short, medium and long-term actions for acquiring and improving parks and trails in Sooke. The PTMP was prepared in conjunction with the District’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP), considering Sooke’s 2009 PTMP, and within the context of current strategic documents.

See how the Parks & Trails Master Plan is taking shape as the plan is put into action and enhancement to our parks and trails take shape.

Described as “where the rainforest meets the sea”, Sooke’s natural surroundings define its character. The Sooke Basin, Sooke Harbour and Sooke River are the defining geographic features, as are the Sooke Hills and surrounding mountainous areas, which provide recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. Sooke residents are passionate about the nature around them and their unique abilities to experience rainforest and ocean settings.

The purpose of the Parks and Trails Master Plan (PTMP) is to guide the planning, land acquisition, capital development and operations of parks and trails in Sooke. It provides a vision for parks and trails, goals for achieving the vision, and a series of short, medium and long-term actions for acquiring and improving parks and trails in Sooke. The PTMP was prepared in conjunction with the District’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP), considering Sooke’s 2009 PTMP, and within the context of current strategic documents.

  • Bluffs Staircase Update (Follow Up from March 8, 2021)

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    As reported on March 8, 2021 the District was unsuccessful with a grant application earlier this year to repair the Bluffs Staircase and address parking concerns in the area. In light of this, staff would seek alternative funding solutions to restore this valued waterfront access.

    At the June 28, 2021 Council meeting, Council carried unanimously reallocating funds from the Solid Waste Strategy Business Plan to repair the treads and railing using the staff tradesperson carpenter. This is anticipated to give the stairs an additional 10-15 years life expectancy.

    Construction on the stairs will begin late summer 2021 with anticipated completion in fall 2021.

    Learn more:

    Sooke Bluffs Park is located off of Highway 14 in the Whiffin Spit neighbourhood: travel down Whiffin Spit Road, turn right onto Francis Road, continue left onto Bethany Place. Please note: parking is limited.


  • Purple Martin Nesting Box Installation Complete Thanks to Community Collaboration

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    The community joined forces this weekend, led by Wild Wise Sooke with support from the District and local business, Sooke Gutter, to install twelve purple martin nesting boxes at the Sooke Pier (located on the waterfront at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort).

    Wild Wise President, Sam Webb, describes one of the biggest projects the organization has undertaken to date and remarkable efforts of the community:

    “We are pleased to say it went very smoothly thanks to the organization and expertise of those involved. Special thanks to volunteer Mike Pretty for loaning his carpentry skills to the project, building boxes and leading the install today, Kelly Chartier for initiating the project last year and for her involvement in the planning and construction process, Shane Robertson and Sooke Gutter for purchasing the lumber and for continued assistance with the project, Evey Chartier for allowing us to recruit you into constructing boxes, Wallis Moore Reed for introducing us to PUMA nest monitoring and for answering our many many questions, Jessica Boquist and Laura Hooper from the District of Sooke Parks Department for overseeing and supporting this project, and all the volunteers who came out today to help with the full day of installing the beams and boxes.”

    Webb notes that educational signage will be next for the project. “We will continue our citizen science project by checking to see how active the boxes are. If you get a chance, take a walk down the pier and see if you can spot members or the new Wild Wise Purple Martin colony!” Webb adds.

    Purple Martins are Canada’s largest swallow, averaging 17 to 20 centimetres in length with a wingspan of 9-41 centimetres. They consume a variety of the larger flying insects, including dragonflies, moths, house flies, horse flies and deer flies. The Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks describes the Purple Martin as a Species At Risk; however, they note the species is increasing in numbers due to nest-box programs.

    Learn more

    The District's Parks & Trails Master Plan highlights the need for public education and environmental stewardship initiatives.

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  • District Receives Favourable Response on Invasive Species Removal Project

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    The Parks and Trails Master Plan identified "Encourage and support stewardship efforts to remove invasive species" (p. 63). While this work is ongoing, through a partnership with the CRD, the District of Sooke has been chosen as a successful applicant on a Stronger BC invasive species project.

    In a brief, the Invasive Species Council of B.C. explains about the program:

    "The Invasive Species Council of BC is rolling Stronger BC Action Teams in 10 regions of the province. The main goal of the Stronger BC program is to provide training and employment to individuals who have lost employment opportunities due to the current pandemic. Indigenous people, women, youth, and applicants from economic sectors impacted by Covid-19 are encouraged to apply for Action Team positions. Action teams learn how to use ISCBC’s remote communications (virtual) platform, participate in remote (virtual/online) orientation and training and perform all duties according to the Provincial Health Orders with health and safety practices as a priority.

    Action Teams are learning new skills and gaining experience in the natural resource sector by participating in formal training sessions and on-the-ground invasive species management projects. Each team has a supervisor and 3 crew members. Each team works for 3-4 months in their project area."

    What this means for Sooke:

    Action Teams will assist with invasive species removal in several key areas:

    Area Target Species
    Nott Pond at John Phillips Memorial Park Policeman’s Helmet
    Nott Brook Stream Survey Policeman’s Helmet
    Sunriver Nature Trail English Holly

    Residents can expect the action team to be working in these areas during the summer months. As you see a team at work, please join us in thanking them for making a significant contribution in caring for our local environment.

    Interested in assisting with invasive species removal?

    Post-COVID, the District is looking to offer seasonal education opportunities to participate in community invasive species removal events. Complete this form to be added to a participant interest list.


    Links to learn more:


    Pictured: Policeman's Helmet. What does it threaten? This plant spreads aggressively along riverbanks and may replace native perennials, possibly resulting in erosion. Significant nectar stores may draw native pollinators away from native flowers. Dense stands may exclude native plants and wildlife.


    Policeman's Helmet




  • District receives BC Hydro Community Regreening Grant

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    March 31, 2021 - The District of Sooke is receiving $3,680 from the BC Hydro Tree Canada Community ReGreening Program. The funds will be used to plant native trees (Garry Oak, Arbutus and Pine) in several parks throughout the community.

    BC Hydro’s Community Regreening Program works in partnership with Tree Canada paying for seedlings, medium and large trees in cities and towns across B.C. and First Nations communities. Parks and Environmental Services Coordinator Jessica Boquist shares, “this enhances the Parks Department’s ability to plant an additional twenty-nine trees in our community, beautifying our parks and outdoor spaces, and diversifying our urban forest.”

    The trees will be planted in the fall at Pond’s Corridor, the future site of a community fenced dog park; Winfield Park, home to an ecologically sensitive wetland and; DeMamiel Creek Park, a current green space located at 2410 Sunriver Way.

  • Unsuccessful grant applications for Sooke Bluff’s and Sooke Potholes projects

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    March 8, 2021 - At the Regular Council Meeting, CAO Report included unfortunate news that the District’s funding applications for the Sooke Bluff’s and Sooke Potholes projects were not successful. Staff are reviewing alternative options to fund these items; continued patience from the public as we determine the best options to move these projects forward is appreciated.

  • Community engagement on John Phillips Memorial Park launched

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    February 2, 2021 - Community engagement on John Phillips Memorial Park launched through The Sooke Spotlight, the District of Sooke’s quarterly print newsletter. This phase of engagement is looking to check-in with the community after robust consultation took place in 2006. It is anticipated that this planning will be operationalized in 2022-2027 five-year financial plan.

  • 275-metre trail addition connects Willowpark Way to Sunriver Nature Trail

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    December 7, 2020 - A new 275-metre trail connection from Willowpark Way to the Sunriver Nature Trail is the next step in the District of Sooke enhancing the walkability of the community.

    The Sun Run Trail will ultimately connect Sunriver to the town core providing residents with the opportunity to use active transportation such as cycling or walking to safely navigate within the community. “This is a significant project and while final completion is still some time away, it is important to recognize this milestone,” shares Mayor Maja Tait. The District is waiting for news on a recent grant application that would aid in facilitating a critical juncture of the connection, Little River Crossing at DeMamiel Creek.

    Project lead, District of Sooke’s Manager of Parks and Environmental Services Laura Hooper spoke about the project timeline earlier this year, “Leveraging available funding opportunities means we should hear back next summer (2021). Careful planning of the environmental considerations have us looking towards a spring 2022 construction start and spring 2023 opening.” In the meantime, those who frequent the Sunriver Nature Trail can enjoy this addition.

    This is the second major milestone for the Sun Run Trail this year. In July, a Pedestrian Crossing by Journey Middle School was added. “Increased trail infrastructure benefits our residents and the environment, especially as we plan for the long-term growth of our community,” shares Tait.

  • Stickleback Urban Trail Opens

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    October 15, 2020 - The community came together today to celebrate the opening of the Stickleback Urban Trail (view map). A string quartet from Sooke Harmony Project greeted visitors with remarks shared by Mayor Maja Tait and Sid Jorna, President of the Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society. The official opening was celebrated with a waving of the scissors, as a drumline from Sooke Harmony Project led the way along the gravel path to a wayfinding post along the trail.

  • Council approved Parks & Trails Master Plan

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    October 13, 2020 - Council approved the Parks & Trails Master Plan.

Page last updated: 07 September 2021, 15:08